What’s the Difference Between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent?

Home for sale in elon ncWhen you are getting ready to buy or sell a home – or both – you are likely going to reach out to a real estate professional for help. A qualified professional can help you understand the market, uncover opportunities, and wind up making a deal that is in your best interest. You might refer to these people casually as real estate agents or Realtors – but is there a difference? Yes, and this article will highlight the difference below.

If you would like to work with a qualified Realtor to find homes for sale in and around the Greensboro area, feel free to reach out to Smith Marketing today for assistance.

An Official Designation

To make sense of this potentially confusing topic, it will help to first look at what it means to be a real estate agent. As a real estate agent, an individual is properly licensed to assist with the process of transacting real estate in a given location. There are requirements that vary by state to obtain a valid license, including things like completing educational courses, passing an exam, and more.

So, if you are considering hiring someone to help you buy or sell real estate, looking for a real estate agent can be considered a starting point. Beyond confirming that an individual is licensed, you may also want to look into other factors like their experience serving past clients, transactions they have completed in your area, any specialties they have, and more. Finding a good partner in this process is the best thing you can do, so plenty of research is necessary.

The Title of Realtor

When someone is designated officially as a Realtor, that title indicates their membership in an organization called the National Association of Realtors. As such, Realtor is not a word that is a suitable stand-in for “real estate agent”, as they don’t mean exactly the same thing. The National Association of Realtors has registered the term Realtor as a collective membership mark, establishing their ownership of that term for professional purposes.

Before an individual can become a Realtor, it is necessary to first become a licensed real estate agent. With that bar cleared, and some additional basic qualifications met, it is then possible to pay a fee and join a real estate association that is part of the NAR. Maintaining that membership moving forward means following the standards that are established by the association.

It should also be noted that not all Realtors work in the capacity of a real estate agent. While that is certainly a common path, some who hold this title will be property managers, real estate brokers, etc. When you are looking around for someone to represent you in the market, finding a Realtor is a great sign that you are in good hands.

The Smith Marketing Difference

Choosing a Realtor in the Greensboro area is easy now that you have come across Smith Marketing. With ample experience and intimate knowledge of the local market, you’ll have everything you need to make smart buying and selling decisions.